This July, a group of six Oolies packed up two cars bound for three unique places on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula: Rialto Beach, Fort Worden, and Shelton. The reason? To collect photos and ideas for the marketing and social media collateral of Peter Donahue‘s upcoming book, Three Sides Water.
Our first stop was Rialto Beach, but we stayed the night in nearby Forks (no, not for the vampires). Forks makes a small appearance in “On Rialto Beach,” but the team was much more excited to see the beach from which the first story in this book takes its name. Though we would have appreciated some warmth from the sun, the overcast sky and chilly winds were evocative of the cold, gloomy day the story opens on. We took photos of not only the amazing landscape but also a few staged shots with props representative of the first story.
Our next stops were Port Townsend and Fort Worden, where “At Fort Worden” (the second story) takes place. We spent hours here in awe of the beautiful beach town and shoreline and its direct contrast to the glum bunkers that housed residents of the juvenile delinquency treatment center from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Though the rigidity of the previous military and treatment center presence left an unmistakable mark on the area, there’s also a sense of peace about the place now. Our walk around the grounds was quiet, enough so that we had a chance to see local wildlife in the form of a deer and her fawn. Yet the peeling paint on the severe old buildings seems to reveal the struggles of their past inhabitants. Our photos here—particularly those that include the buildings with peeks at the ocean—show just how beautiful yet full of history this place is.
We rounded out our trip by swinging through the town of Shelton, an integral location in “Out of Shelton.” This sleepy, working town is exactly as Donahue paints it, proudly representing its logging history with landmarks around town like the train car pulling downed trees pictured below. We ended our trip in a little diner with home-cooked food and mismatched coffee cups, an endearing and welcoming atmosphere that made us feel just as at home as the final story’s protagonist.
Rialto Beach was as mysterious and hauntingly beautiful, Fort Worden as fortified yet integrated with nature, and Shelton as friendly and hospitable as Donahue portrays them in this book. Immersing ourselves in the area that Three Sides Water calls home has helped us not only understand the book better but also come back to the press with ways to market the book, namely lots of beautiful photos we can use when making our collateral. Donahue has done an amazing job bringing this area to life, and now that we’ve been there, we hope to continue representing that spark of life in our collateral.
Stay tuned to our social media channels to see some of the amazing photos and content this trip produced!